Archive for the 'News' Category

Many Directions MSU Can Go At Coach

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Minnesota State coaching job is officially open for business after the school reassigned Troy Jutting Sunday evening. At a press conference this morning, Athletic Director Kevin Buisman said people have already inquired about the position. He says they will move quickly to fill the position.

I have no reason to think otherwise. Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press, who is the man to follow in this pursuit (@puckato on Twitter), also thinks it would behoove the Mavericks to move quickly on this. And if there really is a shortlist, this thing could get done by the end of the month.

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Jutting a Class Act All the Way

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

A lot has been said by fans over the years about the job done by now-former Minnesota State coach Troy Jutting.

Some have been supportive. Some have been critical. Some have been ridiculously critical. Ask Shane Frederick of the Mankato Free Press. Moderating his live blog on game nights has become a bigger and bigger chore for him over the years.

Calling for a coach’s job is nothing new. Since the advent of talk radio and message boards on the internet, it’s become almost customary. Heck, as a sophomore at Minnesota State, I once wrote an editorial calling for Jutting’s job. I even named guys I would replace him with.

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A star is born for St. Cloud in win over Minnesota

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

If there was any doubt about St. Cloud State’s goaltending situation before St. Cloud State’s 4-3 win over No. 1 Minnesota Friday night, there sure isn’t much anymore.

After an injury to SCSU’s Mike Lee last month — an injury which will likely cost the junior his season — the Huskies were forced to turn things over to Ryan Faragher, a freshman from Fort Frances, Ont. via the North American Hockey League.

And the freshman has responded.

“When Mike went down, we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” admitted junior forward David Eddy, who had three assists Friday. “But he’s stepped up huge. Bigger than we expected. He makes saves where you’re just like ‘Wow, how did he do that?’ He made a couple of those tonight.”

Faragher playing well has become somewhat redundant in the Granite City. It seems to be a topic that comes up for head coach Bob Motzko each week.

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Minnesota vs North Dakota post-game wrap

Friday, November 4th, 2011

A bit of a different look at Friday’s rivalry game between Minnesota and North Dakota.

THE BOTTOM LINE

At the University of Minnesota’s media day Wednesday, Gopher captain Taylor Matson predicted a “bloodbath.”

And while the blood wasn’t necessarily flowing, the Gophers and North Dakota combined for 69 minutes in penalties Friday (29 penalties in all) in a 2-0 Minnesota victory at Mariucci Arena, with much of the action coming in a rough second period.

Seth Ambroz got the festivities started with a five minute major for contact to the head just 30 seconds into the middle frame, although he also checked UND captain Mario Lamoureaux from behind. Minnesota killed the five minute UND power play however, and according to numerous players and coaches after the game, that was the turning point.

Tied 0-0 at the time, the major penalty seemed to stir the emotions a bit, and at 11:47, feelings boiled over as a melee ensued, sending 3 players from each team to the box. North Dakota got the extra 2 minutes though, setting up a Gopher power play. Minnesota took advantage as Nick Bjugstad scored what amounted to the game winner with the extra attacker on.

The Gophers got a separation goal with 8 minutes and change remaining in regulation when Nick Larson’s pass sent Tom Serratore in on Aaron Dell for a breakaway. The sophomore buried his second goal of the season to make it 2-0.

For the night, Minnesota outshot North Dakota 32-24. It was a historic night for Gopher goalie Kent Patterson, as the senior secured his fifth shutout of the season — tying a school record set by Robb Stauber in 1987-88. Just nine games into the year, Patterson may have a couple chances to break that record this season.

Stauber, by the way, won the Hobey Baker Award that season.

AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM

On Patterson tying the shutout record

• “Our team has been doing a great job of letting me see pucks,” Patterson said. “I’m going to have to make a few big saves every once in a while, but guys are back checking through the middle and picking up guys so they aren’t getting those opportunities.”

• “I enjoy each and every day. When I do get a shutout, great, but you have to take the good with the bad.” Patterson said. “I just have to make sure I come to the rink everyday preparing for each game individually, and take my game day by day.”

• “He’s something special, he gives us a chance to win each and every night,” Matson said. “He does all the little things right and everything is going well for him right now.”

On getting the separation goal

• “That was great to see, especially off the face off,” Patterson said. “Tom works hard. He had a huge blocked shot at the beginning of the game. He deserved that goal, he worked his butt off.”

• “We’ve been doing a great job of scoring first this season, but that second goal was huge for us,” Matson said. “Especially off the face off, we’ve been stressing intensity off the face off this season, so it was big to get that goal from our fourth line.”

• “We didn’t have a lot of breakdowns, but that was one of them,” said UND head coach Dave Hakstol. “They took advantage of it.”

On the intensity and atmosphere

• “It was the type of game we expected. It was hard hitting, it was physical, it was blocked shots, it was goaltending. The game was settling in and you knew it was going to be a low scoring game,” said Gophers head coach Don Lucia. ”

• “These games are pretty special to us, there was a lot more hitting, a lot more intensity. The atmosphere was something special to be apart of here tonight,” Matson said.

On killing the UND 5×3 power play in the second period

• “I think the pivotal moment for us was that 5-on-3,” Lucia said. “It was a 0-0 game and we were able to get a little bit of momentum from our [penalty] kill.”

• “It was a huge momentum boost, especially when the crowd gets into it like that,” Patterson said. “It gets our bench going and gave our guys a momentum boost.”

IN OTHER ACTION FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE
Michigan Tech 1, Minnesota State 0
St. Cloud State 7, Wisconsin 2
Nebraska-Omaha 7, Colorado College 5
Denver 3, Minnesota Duluth 3 (OT)
Bemidji State 3, Lake Superior State 2 (OT)

Cavanagh’s Tortured Life

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

This is a great article about a very unfortunate topic:

http://www.mercurynews.com/sharks/ci_17245875

From the San Jose Mercury-News … It confirms something not explicitly stated at the time — that former Harvard star Tom Cavanagh committed suicide. It goes into details of his mental deterioration and schizophrenia that he hid for a long time but became more acute over the last year.

I remember Tom Cavanagh’s time at Harvard, and he was everything that the article says — an “honest” player, a hard worker, whose play “exceeded his skill.”

Hockey in Phoenix

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I seem to be in the minority among hockey “purists” about the Phoenix NHL situation, and about Sun Belt hockey in general. They seem to ally with the cause of Canadians who lament the NHL’s Southward drift, at the expense of old-school NHL places like Winnipeg and Quebec, and perhaps new ones like Hamilton.

But, perhaps because I have seen the boon to college hockey in recent years, I don’t look at it that way. All you have to do is take a quantitative look at college hockey rosters over the last 10 years to see the impact of the game being grown in non-traditional places. First it was places like Long Island and Pittsburgh that started getting more and more college players on the rosters. But then it becames places like Washington, then Texas just exploded, followed by the Carolinas and California, and yes, even Phoenix.

The Phoenix franchise itself might stink on the ice, but they could’ve stunk anywhere. (And let’s not forget — Winnipeg and Quebec were not NHL cities until 1980.)

The fact that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gets so roundly booed everywhere he goes in a clueless reaction, I think, on the part of most fans. I don’t even think they know what they’re booing. It’s like the Canadians who boo the American anthem.

Recently Bettman met with the NHL Players’ Association, and I found it refreshing that player rep Michael Peca (a Canadian) chose a contrarian viewpoint to many of his fellow players.

“I actually share a lot of the feelings that the commissioner conveyed about the Phoenix situation,” Peca told ESPN.com. “When you’ve got a kid that plays hockey and you know hockey’s their life, you don’t want to ever see that taken away. You’ve got to build roots in communities.

“It’s easy to transplant a team into Toronto or Southern Ontario and it would succeed, but there’s a growing base of kids that are playing hockey and in minor hockey systems that are thriving now in these communities that you don’t want to rip away. It’s a touchy thing and hopefully those organizations work out.”

Here here to that.

More games going to overtime in NHL

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Changes in the NHL overtime system have led to more games going to overtime. Link here.

In 2000, the National Hockey League began rewarding teams for ties at the end of regulation by granting a point in the league standings to teams that lose in overtime. That makes overtime games worth one more point than other games, because winners of any game get two points. In the nine seasons since that rule change, the probability of games going to overtime has increased by 21% compared with the nine seasons before the change, according to Justin Kubatko, vice president of Sports Reference LLC, as teams have scrambled to hold on for overtime and the guaranteed point it confers.

Why Polls Don’t Matter and Shouldn’t

Monday, December 8th, 2008

I’ve always been pleased as punch with the fact that the NCAA doesn’t incorporate polls into the selection process for the NCAA Hockey Tournament.

Of course, it means that the polls are nothing but discussion fodder. But that’s a good thing. Polls should never be more than that. The opinions of human beings should mean nothing when you’re determining who the best hockey teams are. Same goes for football, basketball, baseball, tennis, volleyball, bowling, and any other sport.

We have tournaments and postseasons so we can decide these types of important things on the field of play.

This week, college hockey pollsters are faced with an interesting, difficult, and nearly-impossible dynamic when it comes to WCHA teams (and others, mind you, but I’m going to focus for a moment on the WCHA).

Minnesota State is now 8-5-3. They have impressive wins over Colorado College and North Dakota, but lost twice over the weekend to St. Cloud State, and they also have a loss and a tie against Minnesota.

St. Cloud State sits at 10-6, just swept MSU, but has lost twice to Minnesota-Duluth by matching 5-1 scores.

UMD is unbeaten in their last five. The Bulldogs, now 7-4-5 on the season, chased Colorado College star goalie Richard Bachman with a five-goal second period explosion Saturday. The 7-4 win follows a three-point weekend against North Dakota and a second four-goal win over St. Cloud State.

Who gets ranked where?

Thankfully, it doesn’t really matter. These three teams settle their differences and decide their rankings with their play on the ice. In January, various sites will start to publish their guesses on what the PWR looks like. CHN has already started publishing the KRACH ratings (waiting until everyone has lost one game).

The only day the PWR matters is on Selection Sunday, but it’s always interesting to watch the ebb and flow over the course of the season’s second half. While there are always quirks with logic involved, they aren’t nearly as bad as the quirks with logic that are involved in the polls.

Of course, it’s always easier to except the quirks when you realize the polls don’t matter one lick. It’s nothing but blog and message board fodder to keep us interested until another full slate of games on Friday night.

York and SI

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I don’t think he ever had much chance to win — probably very little — but at least someone at Sports Illustrated sought to nominate someone from the College Hockey ranks as Sportsman of the Year. The someone who did the nominating is Kevin Armstrong, and the someone that was nominated is Boston College coach Jerry York.

York, of course, led the Eagles to their third national title last April, and it was York’s third title as a head coach, giving him more than any other active D-I coach. The nomination also cited how York overcame prostate cancer in 2005.

The winner of the honor was, of course, Michael Phelps, the swimmer who won more gold medals in one Olympics than anyone ever, this year in Beijing.

Age is but a number

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Apparently, last year, the CCHA athletic directors made a command decision to have schools remove Dates of Birth from their rosters. This decision slipped under the radar, mainly because the information could still be gleaned from other sources.

But this year, other leagues have unofficially followed suit. And consequently, the official sites that track statistics, have also followed suit — specifically collegehockeystats.net, which is our official source for rosters and statistics. In fact, even team sites have purged this information from their pages, in many cases including the individual player profile pages.

As a result, many of our rosters do not have complete information this year. And it has effected our listing of “oldest teams” and “youngest teams,” and the average age comparison on our matchup page. We’re looking into solutions, but if nothing good comes along, we may have to succumb to the trend, and just live with ages only, not exact birth dates.

By the way, the explanation I’ve heard is that there’s privacy concerns. OK.